JJ Dare, friend, fellow author and sister in sorrow, wrote a blog post today about Floating in the Sea of Dreams that got me thinking . . . again. . . . about how I am dreaming my life into being. The Sea of Dreams is like a primordial ooze where ideas and hopes rise up and evolve and then sink back into the deep only to ascend once more in a different guise. And every permutation of these dreams changes us, makes us grow, helps us reach our destiny.
A few months ago when my 96-year-old father (my current responsibility) seemed near death, the idea of living on the go appealed to me. I worry about settling down and stagnating somewhere, and moving from place to place would vanquish that worry, though of course, other worries would take its place. Weather, for example. It’s one thing to think of such a life in the stillness of a warm desert spring day, and another thing to consider the possibilities of snow and tornadoes, hurricanes and ice storms.
My father is doing well, so much so that it’s possible he could outlast me, and the thought of living on the road was subsumed into the Sea of Dreams. I’m back to taking life one day at a time, not thinking about the future, not making any long-term plans.
The other phase of my original idea of living on the go was to do an extended bookstore tour in an effort to introduce my books and my publisher to the offline literary word. That idea, as I have discovered, seems to be another overly rosy daydream. Since I couldn’t go on the road, I’ve been doing my bookstore tour via mail. Sending out letters, gift certificates, offers to interview booksellers.
There’s been little interest in my mailing, and unfortunately, it makes sense. Bookstores are in the business of making money, and since I am not a big name in the literary world (hard though it may be for you to believe), they have no incentive to stock my books. Of course, if/when I do become a big name, they will be interested in my books, but by then, I won’t need them. (If you are a bookstore owner and reading this, and you are interested in my books, let me know and I’ll send you a gift certificate. Or if you are interested in my interviewing you, you can find the interview questions here: Bookseller Questionnaire.)
So this dream of becoming an offline author, like many others I’ve had, is slowly sinking back into the depths, but already, some dreams are beginning to arise. I’m getting inklings of a desire to finish my works in progress. And the idea of being on the go is slowly evolving into something I can do now. I’m considering shutting off the internet one day a week (gasp!!) and taking myself on a fishing trip. (Not to fish for fish, of course, since such a hobby is only peaceful for the one fishing. The poor fish are scared, hurt, and fighting for their life.) My idea is to go fishing for life. Just take off for a day. Go wherever. See what I can see.
Meantime, I’ll continue floating on the Sea of Dreams, dreaming my life into being.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.